ICYMI: This IG Account Is Giving Real Time Updates On Sydney Shops That Have RATs In Stock

rapid antigen tests

Queues for COVID testing have been hell all across Australia, but one Sydney-based Instagram account has got your back when it comes to helping you find the shortest lines possible.

Wait times for COVID testing clinics reached three to four hours in Sydney, five hours in Melbourne, and eight hours in Adelaide in the rush before Christmas, and the lines haven’t shortened as much as we’d hope they would after the holiday.

For Sydney locals, Instagram account Bondi Lines (@bondi_lines) has come to the rescue in sourcing live updates on how long queues are in certain parts of Sydney, so you can go to the least congested COVID testing clinics.

Starting off as an account that tracks how long lines to get into local nightclubs are, Bondi Lines has now expanded its reach to include COVID testing lines.

COVID testing line wait times across Sydney by Bondi Lines.
Image: Instagram @bondi_lines

In the day, the Instagram account sources information on COVID testing queues from its followers, which it then collates into neat, time-stamped Instagram stories that list wait time, location and whether the clinic is still administering tests. At night, it’s all about clubs baby.

“We are three good mates taking a bender idea too far,” Bondi Lines told PEDESTRIAN.TV regarding how their account started.

“We hated waiting in lines and not knowing what venues were pumping before going out. We figured that people must feel the same.

“We initially didn’t plan for COVID lines. A lot of our followers were told they were close contacts and sent in the COVID line updates they were in. After three to four requests, we obliged.”

Despite the account initially focusing on the Bondi locale, testing information spans across various areas of Sydney including Parramatta, Ryde, Manly, Penrith and Rose Bay.

Now with PCR testing rules being enforced and people turning to rapid antigen tests (RATs) instead, the account is ramping up its coverage of where to find RATs at various Sydney shops.

Rapid test availability across pharmacies in Sydney.

They helpfully update these slides once retailers are out of stock, so make sure you keep checking back so you don’t drive all that way for nothing.

You can of course help out by letting them know where you’ve seen RATs in the wild, by chucking a response in the question box that they post at regular intervals.

Of course, a service like this is in high demand, with the crew behind Bondi Lines struggling to keep up with the massive response their initiative has seen.

“The response has been overwhelming at times,” Bondi Lines told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

“We need all hands on deck to cover all messages, post updates and aggregate the data.”

But it seems the work is paying off, with Sydney residents super grateful for the live updates.

“People have been wholeheartedly grateful. They have said that the intel has allowed them to see their families for Christmas and get on planes.”

So far, Bondi Lines is just for Sydney residents — but keep an eye out, because we have it on good authority that the team is considering expanding to help our friends in Melbourne next.